Ht – 6’1” Wt – 201lb Class – JR Age – 21
Fluidity – Doesn’t possess the same fluidity as the top Corners in this draft but has the requisite fluidity for the position. His hip flip is mostly smooth, and he doesn’t take any extra steps.
Press – Great physicality helps him be an above-average press corner, but his lack of upper body strength holds him back from being top-tier. Using his long arms, he had many instances of stonewalling receivers at the line. His technique could use a little refinement, but there are no glaring holes.
Ball Skills – Good, not great. Martin Emerson Jr. was a shut-down Corner, so he didn’t see many passes thrown his way, limiting our evaluation ability on his ball skills. As a pass-catcher, he showed capability, but not much more. As a pass-disruptor, he is more than capable of getting his hands into a receiver’s chest and disrupting a pass. Ironically, he seems to always come up short. While his hands get in the right spot, the receivers still seem to consistently finish the catch.
Man Coverage – Martin Emerson Jr. lacks top-end twitch and burst, resulting in receivers gaining separation on him. When he can get his hands on receivers, he has good technique and mirroring ability. Additionally, before and after the route break, Emerson makes up for his lack of top-end speed with outstanding long strides, and he can stick to receivers like glue. Through route breaks, however, his lack of twitch is noticeable. To his credit, he has a great understanding of route concepts, and his recovery speed and focus are great.
Zone Coverage – In the Mississippi State defense, Martin Emerson Jr. ran a lot of zone coverage reps. As a result, his understanding and vision are flawless. Although he lacks burst, he is always a step ahead, and he is able to break on passes with great precision. His ability to drop back and cover a lot of ground is commendable as well.
Length – UNREAL. Emerson Jr. has arms that extend for days, and there is no Corner in this draft (or possibly any other) with the elite length he has. The only one in this draft class who can match his length is Kyle Hamilton, a consensus Top 3 prospect and physical unicorn. That’s good company.
Tackling – Although he is a very willing tackler, he lacks the true strength to play through blocks and pack a punch. He doesn’t wrap up exceptionally well either. On the other hand, he has the football IQ to get past blocks by identifying the ball-carrier early, and he carries the momentum and physicality to be a capable tackler.
Combine – Martin Emerson Jr. only ran the 40, and his 4.53 time was very pedestrian. It was the measurements that turned some heads. Coming in at a respectable 201lb, he is heavier than we originally expected. Boasting a ridiculous 79 4/8” wingspan, he has the longest arms in this class. Although we knew he was long, it’s still jaw-dropping to see the exact number. Emerson definitely turned some heads.
Martin Emerson Jr. is a physical specimen. As the longest Corner in this class, he is truly something special. Although his tape didn’t match up quite with the players at the top of this draft, his unique physical traits will vault him much higher in this draft.
He has great traits to be a consistently reliable man coverage Corner, but his abilities don’t stack up among the top of this class. At the NFL level, he doesn’t project to be a star on an island. He was caught holding in his collegiate career a few too many times for comfort.
In zone coverage, Emerson Jr. is smooth as butter, and he has a great feel for that style of play.
Despite lacking good upper body strength, he plays with great physicality and willingness, and he is as competitive as they come.
Although he hasn’t garnered much hype from the draft community, I am very excited about his NFL prospects.
See Martin Emerson Jr.’s overall ranking among other players on my Big Board.